Urban Legend – Slender Man
Normally, I would write off a meme as an annoyance. Too often, I receive questions about whether or not Slender Man is real. So that inspired today’s post. Slender Man is nothing more than a fictional character created by Eric Knudsen. The original description of him from 2009 is he is a tall man, who was thin and had a featureless face, while wearing a black suit. His entry on June 10, 2009 on the web forum, Something Awful, where he took a spectral figure and added it to a couple of black and white images with children in the background.
In the stories, Slender Man is typically stalking or causing people agony in some manner. Children are a common target, with them ultimately ending up being abducted at some point. The stories continued to grow online and gave some kind of validity to the legend.
Occasionally, stupid people get ahold of urban legends and memes and decide to modernize them and bring them to life. This helps to aid in the validity of things in the eyes of some. In Wisconsin, two teenage girls are accused of trying to kill a fellow classmate as a sacrifice to Slender Man. The current charge is attempted first degree intentional homicide. Thankfully, their victim survived, but it goes to show you how people at times can take things a step too far.
In this case, the Wisconsin murders are imitating a story out there. Much like the Scream murder committed by Thierry Jaradin or the Interview with the Vampire inspired killing committed by Daniel Sterling.
Of course, there are some urban legends that are based on fact. The Janett Christman murder is perhaps one of the most infamous urban legends out there. As for Slender Man, he remains a part of internet history that likely will never go away. But he can in fact be considered a modern urban legend.